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World War II defines America and widened the horizons of many American women All women who were involved in the war shared in the patriotism of the war but the devastation in Europe the unleashing of atomic weapons on Japan the deaths of loved ones and the emotional difficulties many men faced in coming home made women question war as a means of solving international problems Although many knew the war had opened new opportunities to them and their loved ones it also brought abiding sorrow and a sense that the world had entered a new phase of its history Women on the home front played a big part in the war efforts and accomplished very much In 1939 the Depression was still very much on everyones mind Nearly one third of all Americans had been out of work in 1933 The Timetables of History pg 79 Many of those who were working were working part time or at a reduced pay Government intervention during the Depression had mainly given jobs to men There was a lot of discrimination against women especially in the better jobs like teaching civil service and secretarial work Men and women had different types of jobs Women did clerical work or worked on the lower scale in a factory or worked as domestics in other peoples homes Overall more married women were at work in the 1930s than in the 1920s but they were concentrated in the lowest paying jobs As soon as the war started it brought a tremendous shortage of labor Men were leaving civilian employment for military service in huge numbers To fill the shortage society could have gone back to child labor as in the preceding century Instead society asked women to fill the jobs and they rushed to take them Women did change They had gotten the feeling of their own money Making it themselves and not asking anybody how to spend it James
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